An abortion-rights advocate told lawmakers on Wednesday that men can get pregnant and undergo abortions because a person can choose the gender to which they wish to identify.
Aimee Arrambide, executive director of the abortion advocacy group Avow Texas, appeared before the House Judiciary Committee during a hearing about abortion.
Arrambide was asked by Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., to define a woman.
"I believe that everyone can identify for themselves," Arrambide said.
Asked if she then believed that men therefore could get pregnant and have abortions, Arrambide answered, "Yes."
The hearing was held just over two weeks after Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of a leaked draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court may be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide.
Legislators in 13 states have passed laws to limit or restrict access to abortion that would go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Wednesday's committee hearing included testimonies from:
- Catherine Glenn Foster, CEO and president of Americans United for Life.
- Michele Bratcher Goodwin, law professor from the University of California, Irvine.
- Dr. Yashica Robinson, medical director of the Alabama Women's Center for Reproductive Alternatives.
Robinson also was asked by Bishop to define "woman." The lawmaker and witness engaged in a tense back-and-forth.
"Dr. Robinson, I noticed in your written testimony you said that you use she/her pronouns. You're a medical doctor – what is a woman?" Bishop asked Robinson.
"I think it's important that we educate people like you about why we're doing the things that we do," Robinson said. "And so the reason that I use she and her pronouns is because I understand that there are people who become pregnant that may not identify that way. And I think it is discriminatory to speak to people or to call them in such a way as they desire not to be called."
"Are you going to answer my question? Can you answer the question, what's a woman?" Bishop asked.
"I'm a woman, and I will ask you which pronouns do you use?" Robinson replied. "If you tell me that you use she and her pronouns … I'm going to respect you for how you want me to address you."
"So you gave me an example of a woman, you say that you are a woman, can you tell me otherwise what a woman is?" Bishop asked.
"Yes, I'm telling you, I'm a woman," Robinson said.
"Is that as comprehensive a definition as you can give me?" Bishop asked.
"That's as comprehensive a definition as I will give you today," Robinson said. "Because I think that it's important that we focus on what we're here for, and it's to talk about access to abortion."
"So you're not interested in answering the question that I asked unless it's part of a message you want to deliver," Bishop said.
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